Main Walkthrough

Once you reach the post-game section of Star Ocean The Second Story R you'll eventually find yourself in a virtual simulation of Expel. Here you'll find a secret dungeon known as the Maze of Tribulations, a thirteen-floor horror show that will test your skills to the limits. This gets even worse when you reach the bottom, as a powerful being named Gabriella Celesta is waiting in the final chamber.

If you can beat Gabriella Celesta - which is no walk in the park - you'll receive a special item known as the Silver Trumpet. An instrument, the Silver Trumpet can be used to Compose songs, via the Music Specialty. The Silver Trumpet can play two songs:
  • The Devil's Aria, which summons monsters for an immediate battle
  • Aria of the Gods, which increases the chances of success when using IC or Specialties
Aria of the Gods is a generally useful song. In this case, though, we're more interested in The Devil's Aria. Its summons consist of ten levels, corresponding to the learnable levels in the Music Specialty, and each one summons a different monster. All of the monsters are bosses from the Maze of Tribulations, and you should have a good idea how to beat all of them by now.

The one exception is the level 10 summon, which is just a series of question marks. This monster is familiar... but the iteration you fight when you summon her is stronger than before. Get ready for a heck of a fight.

Iseria Queen

HP: 3,500,000
Absorbs: Dark

Hoo boy. Although Iseria Queen looks like Gabriella Celesta, this fight is a bit different - and more difficult. Iseria Queen uses the following attacks:
  • A normal melee strike that does tons of damage
  • A slow-moving shockwave that can hit one or more characters
  • A medium-speed, hurled disc
  • Turns into a whirling dervish that zips around the field, likely KOing anyone she hits
  • Word of Death, an instant death attack that appears as a mouth over the target's head, KOing them if they stand under it for too long
  • Shadow Flare, a Dark Spell that hits the whole party
  • Meteor Swarm, a powerful Light Spell that hits the whole party
In addition to the above, a number of Iseria Queen's attacks inflict Petrify on a character, assuming the target wasn't just outright knocked out by the hit.

Unless you stack your characters with equipment that boosts AVD - and you'll need a lot of AVD - you'll be seeing constant deaths as you fight Iseria Queen. Her unnamed attacks almost always KO characters, and while Shadow Flare isn't so bad Meteor Swarm can annihilate an unprepared party. If your characters don't negate or absorb Light attacks, prepare for Meteor Swarm to wipe you out.

A few tips for surviving this battle:
  • Prep at least two of your characters with equipment that negates or absorbs Light damage. Someone needs to be alive to bring the rest of the party back in case Meteor Swarm goes off. Silver Charms are great for this, as they absorb Light attacks. They also nullify Dark attacks, and prevent instant death from working.
  • Move your healer to the edge of the battlefield and leave them there. This will minimize the chances that Iseria Queen will slam into them with her spinning attack.
  • Put Bunny Shoes, or something else to raise running speed, on your main character. Keep them well away from Iseria Queen, and use long-range attacks to hit her from afar. This gives you space to react to her moves, and room to run if she comes straight for you. Fighting toe-to-toe with Iseria Queen is a bad idea. (My personal choice is Dias with Air Slash, as he can hit from virtually everywhere, but his availability depends on your choices during the playthrough.)
  • Keep a close eye on your item cooldown, and go into the item menu immediately after it ends, assuming anything is wrong with your characters. This will give you a chance to take stock of the battlefield and repair anything that needs repairing.
  • Leave AI characters dead if Iseria Queen is using her spin attack. The odds are excellent that they will get wiped out again as she whirls around. Wait until she's done moving, then revive the party.
  • Only use summons if Iseria Queen has been stalled by someone else. The chances that they will hit while she's on the move are pretty low.
  • And, if none of that seems to work, lower the difficulty level. She's still hard, but Iseria Queen is more lenient on, say, Earth difficulty, than she is on Galaxy or Universe.
If none of that seems to work for you, grab some Bloody Armor from the Dark Crusaders in the Fields of Might and Courage. Bloody Armor negates all damage and status ailments when worn, though the wearer will steadily lose their health over time. Keep a healer going, supplemented by the occasional item to restore the whole party, and the falling HP counts won't be a problem.

You'll receive the Rapturous Angel Achievement for defeating Iseria Queen. Well done! This will also unlock the final Group Battle in the Fun City Arena, where your party needs to battle both Gabriella Celesta and Iseria Queen. Simultaneously. Good luck with that!